Seasons & Salads

The traditional rugby season is coming to an end, with the Magners League about to finish up, but the season for fresh Irish fruit and veg is just kicking off. It is also the start of summer so an ideal time to start enjoying salads and the perfect ingredients are now in season. Things like tomatoes, peppers, scallions and lettuce will be at their most nutritious over the coming months so it’s the best time to eat them.

And for once, the weather has played its part as well with a really decent start to summer!

Salads are a really quick way of boosting your five a day, they require little preparation time and there is a fantastic variety of vegetables that you can add in – which can come in handy for me as sometimes I don’t have much time to cook with training schedules! They also go really well with barbeques, which I have to say is one of my favourite meals to have during the summer!

By having to watch what I eat I pick up on what different types of fruit and veg are good for. Tomatoes, for example, are good sources of vitamin C and keep you fuller for longer. I sometimes snack on cherry tomatoes between meals rather the reaching for a biscuit – which I’m very partial to!

Another salad favourite of mine, red peppers, are a great source of vitamin B6 which is essential for releasing energy from protein. Fruit & veg are naturally low in fat and calories so working them into fresh salads will help keep you healthy.

This weekend it’s the Magners League playoffs and we’re up against Munster at Thomand Park. It’ll be a good game and here’s hoping results go our way.

Until next month, here’s a salad recipe you can try, with a kick!

Ingredients

  • 1 crisp cucumber, diced or sliced
  • 1 crunchy green pepper, diced or sliced
  • 1 firm red onion, sliced
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into wedges or sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco

To prepare

  1. In a salad bowl, throw in the cucumber, pepper, red onion and tomatoes.
  2. Whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over salad and toss.
  4. Season with chilli flakes or pepper for even more of a kick.